The University of Wisconsin women’s soccer team continued Big Ten conference play Saturday and knocked off No. 8 Minnesota Golden Gophers 1-0 on the road.
Going into Saturday’s game, the Badgers owned a record of 1-2-1 in the Big Ten and were coming off a 3-2 loss to the Indiana Hoosiers. In a defensive shutout that went into overtime, the Badgers finally broke the tie behind a goal from freshman forward Dani Rhodes and pulled off the upset over the Gophers (9-3-1, 3-1-1 Big Ten).
Wisconsin (5-4-4, 2-2-1 Big Ten) continued their dominance on defense but struggled to find the net. Goalkeeper Caitlyn Clem played an excellent game for the Badgers, recording three diving saves that secured the victory. The physical battle was one that saw 31 total fouls between both teams and proved to be another classic in an already historic rivalry.
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The Badgers created scoring chances for themselves early in the first half. Midfielders Rose Lavelle and Micaela Powers, along with defender Camryn Biegalski, were all able to rattle off a few shots but were unable to find the back of the net in regulation. Lavelle led the team with three shots followed by forward Emily Borgmann with two. The second half was just as dry as each offense took only a few opportunities — Wisconsin shooting four times and Minnesota tallying five.
The game remained scoreless until the 99th minute when Rhodes found the back of the net inside the six yard box. The goal was Rhodes’ second of the year with her first goal coming in the season opener against Illinois State just minutes into the game, which also proved to be the game-winner.
The victory improved Wisconsin to .500 in conference play which currently puts them in seventh in the Big Ten standings. A win like this against an eighth-ranked conference opponent could give the Badgers the spark they need to contend for a consecutive Big Ten regular season championship.
Despite struggling offensively for the better half of the season, the Badgers have still outscored their opponents 15-12. This is good news for a team who constantly creates chances offensively and is complimented by a defense that has recorded five shutouts and allowed multiple goals in a single game only three times.
In their next match, Wisconsin will be back home in the McClimon Soccer Complex to take on another difficult opponent in the Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-4-0, 3-2-0 Big Ten) Oct. 6.
The Badgers have won the last two meetings against the Cornhuskers with their last defeat against them coming in 2013. The game will start at 7 p.m. and can be viewed on BTN.